How much will it cost me to replace my EV battery?
EVs, just like anything that operates on a battery, will eventually need a battery replacement. This is a pretty rare occurrence, especially with ever-improving battery technology.
Still, an EV battery replacement feels far more complicated and costly than simply switching out the double AAs on the remote. To ease some of those EV anxieties, let’s take a deeper look into your vehicle’s battery life, plus ways you can extend it.
Why do you have to replace your battery?
Unfortunately, all batteries will eventually need to be replaced. As batteries age, they lose their ability to hold onto an electric charge. That being said, your EV battery is better than traditional batteries. Your EV uses a lithium-ion battery, which is specifically designed for a longer life span. Nonetheless, even fancy lithium-ion batteries degrade over time due to several chemically-related factors. Go ahead and put on your lab coats and pull out those test tubes because it’s time for a quick chemistry lesson. Within an EV battery, lithium ions shuttle back and forth between the cathode (the negative side) and the anode (the positive side) with the help of electrolytes. This back-and-forth of lithium ions is essentially how the battery operates, and unfortunately, environmental and unavoidable chemical reactions can impede performance.
How often should you replace your battery?
Modern EV batteries should last at least ten years, and many will operate long after that if you take good care of them. Some studies suggest that EV batteries can last more than 200,000 miles, which is a considerable lifespan for any vehicle, EV or otherwise. It should be noted, though, that EV batteries have the potential for a very useful second life. For example, used batteries from the Nissan LEAF can be used to help store energy from solar arrays in California. Generally speaking, EV batteries lose about 2% of their capacity each year, a small but significant decrease over time. To be honest, a full battery replacement isn’t super common if you’re following maintenance schedules. And, for some EV models, technicians can service or replace individual battery cells rather than the full EV battery itself.
How much will it cost?
Well, before we even go down that road, remember that most automakers provide a significant warranty period for EV batteries (usually in the neighborhood of ten years or 100,000 miles). The US government requires that EV batteries are covered for at least eight years. So for most EV owners, you will likely have already traded in or sold your EV for a newer model by the time a battery replacement is necessary. However, for individuals who hold on to their EVs or purchase an older model, you’re looking at a battery replacement cost of at least $5,000 plus labor (which can easily add another few thousand dollars). Startlingly, a new replacement battery for some of the higher-end brands is closer to — wait for it — $20,000 (at this point, most would simply opt for a new car). The truth is that most EV brands haven’t been around long enough for battery replacements to really be a problem. Still, experts feel confident that EV owners will have cheaper options (like used or reconditioned batteries) from which to choose should the need arise.
Can you extend your EV battery life?
To prolong the life and efficiency of your EV battery, there are a few tricks to consider. In fact, these best practices aren’t unlike those for maintaining your laptop or cell phone’s battery life. You should keep your EV charged between 60% and 80% and avoid fast charging. Try to limit your car’s exposure to super cold or hot temperatures as much as possible. Install software updates when recommended, and be sure to follow maintenance and repair guidance. Essentially, you don’t want to do things that will stress your battery out.
Replacing an EV battery is expensive, but it’s really not something you should lose sleep over. After all, when you consider the amount of money you recoup from EV rebates and fuel savings, you’re likely still going to land in the black, even after the expense of an EV battery replacement. California drivers save an estimated $1,198 per year in gasoline expenses alone, plus the average repair costs for EVs are typically lower than a traditional vehicle’s repairs.
Want to learn more about EV trends and other helpful tips? Sign up for more information at eevelife.com.
By evee Life Contributor
Published October 25, 2022 3:04PM
Eveelife is an eco-oriented lifestyle platform that helps consumers make more purposeful choices about how they live and what they consume. We do it by curating content and products that help them make more conscious, carbon-free choices while amplifying their EV ownership experience.